I have always wanted to ask questions of authors whose books I adore beyond the beyond but I am a true introvert and doing so, gives me a bit of anxiety. But, the want out weighs the worry so I thought I would design my own interview nook of sorts with authors here at Oh My Shelves. This my introverted way of sitting down and having a small chat with an author. My questions are normally of a personal nature, on my part as books that touch me deeply are ones I hold close and I don't like to ask too many questions either so I've named my "series" if you will,
Sara's Intimate Interviews.
This series will focus on books, the authors or content which connects more than the words on the page. I hope you enjoy this inaugural post as much as I have and that we have many more to share together.
~Music and Books~
First, let me say how thrilled I am to have you visit Oh My Shelves. I am huge fan or your work and am over the moon that you are joining me for this, my first interview post.
Being a self-proclaimed music nerd, I love it when it shows up in books. Whether the song is new to me and I look it up to hear it for the first time or when a beloved song is mentioned in a book and I get overwhelmed with feelings, music in books are two great things that go beautifully together.
So having said that, let’s begin a small but intimate (also the best way to hear live music, *sigh*) interview with Suki Fleet about Music in books.
In This is Not a Love Story you have a chapter titled, “There is a Light That Never Goes Out”, and being a fan of The Smiths… my emotions were set hearing the lyrics in my head. In Foxes, you include songs by The Cure and I know not everyone would catch on to the titles and get the same feelings I did but they fit the chapters that followed wonderfully.
OMS: I have noticed in your books the inclusion of music, though subtly, and I have to know if using songs as chapter titles is done with intent to set the emotions of the chapters?
Suki: Thank you so much for having me here, Sara^^
Partly, I use song titles as chapter titles so, as a writer, I can pay homage to my influences–and I do love it when these mean something to readers too, and we have a shared love for those artists. The song titles I include all mean something to me and are specifically related to the chapters they head.
I used ‘There is a light that never goes out’ in TINALS as I really felt that song when writing that story. Their love is the light that never goes out. And Remee sees light in Julian too, even though Julian feels broken, it pulls him through.
Another song was hugely influential when writing TINALS was a particular live version of Sufjan Steven’s ‘Chicago’ that makes me cry. There is a line ‘if I was crying in the van with my friend…’ that just does me in. I didn’t use that song title because in a story about London ‘Chicago’ didn’t make as much sense.
In Foxes I used ‘If Only Tonight We Could Sleep’ and ‘Pictures of You’ by the Cure as I imagined my MC Danny would connect with those songs too. Foxes also had ‘Hey Micky’ from the song by Toni Basil as the energy of that song perfectly describes how blown away by Micky Danny is the first time he sees him.
OMS: How does music play into writing for you and are they more of a secret code for you with a hope readers will connect with the songs?
Suki: Every story I’ve ever written will have been conceived with music in mind, even my novellas. ‘Lima Oscar Victor Echo and The Truth About Everything’ (a free story) was written with ‘Smalltown Boy’ by Jimmy Somerville in mind. ‘Just Like Heaven’ was titled from one of my favourite Cure songs and written feeling a connection to ‘Desire’ by Years and Years. Falling was written listening to ‘On a Beach’ by Richard Ashcroft.
I always hope the songs I mention will mean something to readers. So I guess it is like a secret code that I know not everyone will get, but I always hope that someone will get.
OMS: Other than writing, what does music mean in your everyday life? Is there a song that can instantly make you happy, sad or one song that takes you back to your best memory?
Suki: My music taste is veeerry eclectic. Possibly my favourite song in all the world is ‘Shadow of a Saint’ by Ian Brown. It’s a song that song makes me happy and takes me away from myself. It’s my jam.
My go to sad song would probably be ‘Monday’ by Ludovico Einaudi.
OMS: What is next for you in the book world?
Suki: I have just had a novella called Wildflowers accepted by Dreamspinner Press for publications July/ August 2016. This novella is the first story I ever finished, just before I started writing TINALS. For a long time I wasn’t sure about officially publishing it as it probably is the angstiest story I’ve ever written (and I know that’s saying something), but it seemed a shame to leave it languishing on my hard drive.
And going for extremes I’m also trying to extend probably the sweetest story I’ve ever written, called Te Quiero. And I’m writing a novel length story called ‘Light Up the Dark’ about a creepy old house and an MC obsessed with fire.
Thank you for spending your time with me and chatting about music. I love that you have used songs that mean so much to me and that I was able to connect with your stories on a deeper level because of them.
Suki: Thank you for having me! I loved answering these questions^^